When we go to another place, for sure, there is some picture in our mind. It's normal because for every word, every situation, our brain has its one preconception. Traveling to India is the same thing, many people have preconceptions about this country.
5 main preconceptions about India
1. Language: It's spread that in India, people talk just one language: the Hindi. Wrong! India has many languages, in total, it has 234 mother tongues in the country, including 122 important languages. Administration has the Hindi as the official language.
However, there are 22 other languages in the Constitution as Assamese, Bengali, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Telu, Urdu, Santali, Sanskrit, Nepali, Meitei, Odia, Nepali, Kashmiri, Bodo and English.
The latter is the second official language used mostly in higher education and government too. It's wrong to think that all inhabitants speak English, there is just 12% of them living in cities not in rural areas.
2. Religion: People think Hinduism is the only religion. It's true that Hinduism predominates, but as the language, there are other religions. Religions in India are characterized by a diversity of practices and times.
The country is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism and has long been a home for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism.
Note that in the history of the country, religion has often played an important role, now recognized by law. The vast majority of Indians recognize themselves in a religion and it often plays a vital role in their lives.
3. Food: It's common to hear that Indian food smells bad and is always spicy. There is Pakora, fried snacks shaped in round balls; samosa made by mixing meat and vegetables, wrapped in fried dough sheets; the Papri Chaat which is the composition of papdis or flour crackers, with yogurt, some potatoes and chick peas.
All of this is marinated with different non-spicy sauces. There are also: Dosa as a crepe but thinner and crispier, mostly accompanied with coconut and the famous Saag Paneer which is made with cubes of cheese the Paneer, then mixed with a creamy of spinach.
4. Popular Cultures: First, about cinema. Bollywood is not the only film production firm in India. Certainly, Indian movies are about society, customs, behaviors, showing dance and flowers.
However, it's wrong to consider Bollywood production as the only movie producer, it's just the one in the North. In Southern India, there is also Kollywood which hosts most of the movie adaptation in southern area.
5. Cultures: If Indian people are seen dancing during the day in the cinema, their daily life doesn't really look like that. They like dancing and cherish their cultures but they normally live like people in other countries do. They don't dance or sing about anything and everything.
India is more than movie things
Due to the information that we get through the media about India, it's impossible to imagine it another way. However, it's important to travel to India to discover their real cultures.
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India is a conservative country, they take their cultures seriously and respect them. It's important to see by eyes what it's about before judging and planning not to go because of some stereotypes about the country. Then, travel to India and break the clichés.